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I just finished Boku wa Mari no Naka (also known as Inside Mari) and I thought I should write down my thoughts on it here.
The basic premise is about a NEET who wakes up in the body of a girl he pretty much stalked for a while. The story takes a lot of crazy psychological twists and turns (as expected from a manga by Oshimi), and it definitely isn't your typical gender-bender story. The subject material is certainly heavy and deeply personal, but I think it is handled quite well for the most part. (Spoilers for the ending) I really expected Yori and Mari to end up together though… maybe I misunderstood something? But it's nice to see Mari's alright.
Let's talk about this manga and the rest of Oshimi's work:
Aku no Hana (The Flowers of Evil)
Chi no Wadachi (Blood on the Tracks)
Okaeri Alice (Welcome Back, Alice)


I read Chi no Wadachi and I thought it was terrible. I have no idea why it was praised so much.


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Do you like psychological manga in general? I thought it was really good, though I'll admit I haven't read it for a while, so I don't know what happens in the new chapters.
I've started Okaeri Alice recently and I don't know what to make of it.


I like psychological stories, and that might be one of the reasons I disliked it so much. It's bad whether you approach it as a psychological thriller or as a horror story.


It's a bad drama too.


Can you elaborate? Which parts did you dislike? Don't forget to tag spoilers


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>as a horror story
The manga has a good premise in having a socially and emotionally stunted teenager being held back by his obsessive mom and slowly becoming aware of the situation. That's fine and probably my favorite aspect of the story. However, the story started morphing out of the horror state for me around the time the cousin thing gets sidelined. A few points, like mom's further characterization and the dragged pacing killed the horror atmosphere for me. The way the author handled cousin's recovery was also weird as fuck, it seemed like an attempt to gross out the reader, but I just thought it was too tryhard and over the top.
>as a psychological story
MC-kun was a good portrait of parental abuse and social alienation but I got pulled out of it hard when he kills his cousin and goes to "rehab", that's when I started to feel like he was more character than human. He stopped evolving in interesting directions (in my opinion at least) around that time. Likewise, mom hops from The Monster to a case study in personality disorders to a multi-layered victim of her own circumstances way too much. As someone who had to deal with bipolars, borderlines, and schizoids, I just couldn't see her as believable in that sense. It's fine if that wasn't the intention, she wouldn't be scary if the reader could understand her, however this kills the purpose of presenting her as a psychologically complex character when she feels too alien. These two ideas are at odds with each other.
>as a drama story
As a consequence of the past two points, I couldn't care much about the characters and their struggles. MC-kun being a dick to his crush and fucking his cousin up makes for an interesting psychological story but for a bad drama when the reader can't relate to his behavior. I could not find myself feeling sorry for him, or rooting for him whatsoever past the first 20 chapters or so. Recent story developments have taken a more drama-focused direction, and I won't discuss them here since you haven't read them yet but, again, I found myself very uninterested and decided not to keep reading chapter updates.
>the art
I hated it. Very goofy facial expressions, feels like the author is trying too hard to impress the reader. Plus poor drawing skills overall, just couldn't take it seriously. As an example, mom's face is often off-model. I know there's a narrative reason for that, but still didn't justify it enough for me. I feel like this is the kind of story that really needs good illustrations to deliver a good experience. The Shining never had to distort the actors' faces to strike fear into the viewer as an example. At least the background art was pretty.

In short:
>the art could've been better, especially facial expressions
>the pacing could've been better
>the horror aspect needed to not drop incestuous overtones, add more threat of violence and other areas of coercion into MC's life
>the author could've done a better job in making mom more sympathetic after the story leaves the horror state, and then could push further psychological dilemmas by guilt-tripping MC (and the reader) into feeling sorry for her when responding to her aggression
>remove the whole psychedelic trip before MC kills his cousin


nostalgia critic syndrome


*nasal redditor voice* uhhhh those faces arent very realistic


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>nostalgia critic syndrome
I don't know what this means.
>uhhhh those faces arent very realistic
Yeah, they're shit.
>*nasal redditor voice*
Woah buddy go easy on the projection
Also >>>/siberia/


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I started Okaeri Alice after your post because I liked Oshimi's other works.
It had interesting ideas but holy shit were they executed horribly. There's only so many times you can watch the MC get sexually assaulted in public before it gets ridiculous. The initial characterization of Kei will throw off a lot of people too (he gets better, and Mitani gets worse).
It was certainly interesting up to the point I read but its Oshimi's weakest work (out of the ones you listed) by far.

(Pic unrelated its from Boku wa Mari no Naka)


if you cant enjoy the plot of a manga because of faces youre pretty much like those youtube essayist trying to feel smarter than the media they consume over petty bullshit, yes


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I'm pretty sure the manga isn't supposed to be a horror story in the first place. Unnerving for sure, but not horror.
As for the art, calling it "goofy" and "off-model" is kind of weird, and are you seriously comparing a manga to a movie in terms of the art? Oshimi's facial expressions and cross-hatching technique are quite distinctive. Sure it's not Berserk or anything but it fits his stories quite well.
The rest of your criticisms are hard to evaluate to be honest. I thought the mother's characterization was the best part of the manga. I guess it's just a matter of taste.

As a side note I found it kind of interesting how the mother makes a super similar facial expression in Boku wa Mari no Naka.


Reductive + stop projecting

>The rest of your criticisms are hard to evaluate to be honest.
Why would they need to be "evaluated"?
>I guess it's just a matter of taste.
What else would it be?


Look up what psychological projection means?


YouTube and Reddit have ruined media literacy forever. I strongly believe that people ruin shit for themselves by just refusing to meet it on its own terms. If you look at something from the perspective of "what was this trying to do" rather than "this is what I want it to do", you often get way more out of it.


People are more likely to project than to strawman and your posts seem weirdly specific to be a strawman

Dude what do you mean, I don't even browse Reddit. I thought the manga was shit, anon asked my reasons and I answered. What's with the butthurt?
> If you look at something from the perspective of "what was this trying to do" rather than "this is what I want it to do", you often get way more out of it.
I have absolutely no idea what this means


the ending was so rushed, altho the panels in the end sequence were unironically my favorite in that entire series


I'm going to have to concur with the others, you have no idea what projection even means.

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